Magnolia grandiflora flower and foliage by Ianaré SéviPhoto by by Ianaré Sévi

Fast Facts

  • Adopted the Mississippi state flower in 1952
  • Botanical name: Magnolia grandiflora or magnolia
  • The magnolia tree is also the state tree of Mississippi.
  • The magnolia flower is also the state flower of Louisiana.
  • Also known as Southern magnolia or evergreen magnolia.
  • Magnolia trivia: The magnolia is named after Pierre Magnol, a well known botanist of the 18th century.
  • Mississippi Flower Delivery

No doubt about it. Mississippians adore the magnolia flower! From putting its image on the new state quarter to using it in their state nickname, (Mississippi is often dubbed “the Magnolia State”), residents of this grand southern state have long admired the creamy white blossom and the evergreen tree upon which it grows. The choice of the magnolia as the Mississippi state flower is a natural one. At least that’s what the school children of the state likely thought back in 1900 when they chose it over several other native flowers to be the state’s floral emblem. Though slower to act, the state’s legislature eventually followed suit and the magnolia was named the state flower of Mississippi in 1952.

For generations, Mississippians have sought shade beneath magnolia trees on antebellum plantations, enjoying the unmistakable, sweet scent of magnolia flowers wafting through the air. Even today, the trees can be found on preserved and restored plantations, including in Biloxi where magnolias dot the grounds of Beauvoir, the plantation home of confederate president Jefferson Davis. Across the state from Gulfport to Jackson to Aberdeen, magnolia trees line city streets and adorn suburban yards. With their ability to grow up to 80 feet high and 50 feet across, the Mississippi state flower is frequently used as buffer trees and to form boundaries. They are also prized for their ornamental value.

Magnòlia a Verbania by Josep RenaliasPhoto by Josep Renalias

Magnolia buds appear in late March and early April. By mid April the flowers are in full bloom. The Mississippi state flower is at once showy and elegant. Its cup-like blooms range in color from cream to pink and reach impressive sizes, up to 15 inches across. Each flower is made of numerous waxy petals that provide contrast to the tree’s shiny green foliage. Magnolia flowers also produce a strong sweet perfume. Though beautiful and impressive, the life of the Mississippi state flower is a short one. In fact, magnolia blooms may only be pristine for several days. By autumn, magnolias flowers have dried up and its petals have fallen. In its place forms an attractive red seedpod that is enjoyed by squirrels, rabbits, birds and even wild turkeys.

Source links:

Iowa State University, University Extension: Horticulture and Home Pest News

Virginia Tech Department of Forestry